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Data in Flex often comes as a result of requests, from HTTPService, WebService, RemoteObject components, so from that standpoint the data from the start is "cloudy".
Often when data is returned from a request, it can be stored in an ArrayCollection, XMLListCollection, complex Object, or some form of data model. So in this regard you can see the data there.
Passing data among objects is often best done via events, in some cases this is necessary, in other cases it just makes sense from an architecture perspective.
Those data requests, HTTPService, WebService, RemoteObject components, are handled asynchronously, so you can't just send the request and assume the data will be immediately available. That's why ResultEvent is so valuable. You don't proceed until the ResultEvent has been dispatched, thus you know your data is available.
But if the data has been received and you just want to work with it, your objects can intercommunicate to a degree directly on the "dataProvider". I'm not a Flex architecture guru, but I believe this is often done.
Bottom line is read at least the FB3 help doc section "Adobe Flex 3 Help" and as much of the sub-topics as possible, and you will be surprised how quickly you gain a feel for how Flex "operates" in typical programs.
Hope this helps.
> Can anyone recommend training materials that might help get me going? I
> worked my way through Flex 2.0 with ActionScript 3.0 by Charles Brown and
> about to start Training from The Source by Tapper and LaBriola.
Flex 3 Training from the Source
This book builds a shopping cart from scratch (an old metaphor, but a good
one for teaching the plethora of interconnected bits in Flex). It introduces
the MVC architecture. I've worked my way through much of it (well, actually
the Flex 2 version) and it helped give me a basic understanding of Flex that
I will build on as I get the opportunity to work with it.
If you get this, and find it gives you enough grasp to be able to move
forward, you may want to look at Cairngorm
http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/Cairngorm or Pure MVC
http://puremvc.org/component/option,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/ as Architectures
for your Flex code.
Cairngorm vs. Pure MVC
These use their own version of events (that I don't really understand yet!!)
that may or may not make more sense to you.
Also, since you can bind your controls to data, you may find that as you get
a better grasp of things you have less need to fire events around with
abandon. As a Flex novice, I too find that relying on events is confusing
and open to trouble. I think that using Architectures helps to tidy that up
by handling events more centrally so that you don't need to pass them
There's also a good book on design patterns that might be useful
ActionScript 3.0 Design Patterns
It describes various methods that can be employed for architecting your
code. Should be pretty useful if you have the technical
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